Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that Meghalaya Milk Mission will facilitate in achieving the Centre’s goal of doubling farmer’s income by 2022 through promotion of milk business in the state. Announcing a sanctioned project of Rs 215 crores through National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) at the launching programme of Meghalaya Milk Mission in Shillong today, the minister said that the amount will be utilised for various training under dairy farm, chilling centre and purchase of milch animal.
The minister said that the Meghalaya Milk Mission has been conceptualised to plug the demand-supply gap in the per capita milk availability. Stating that the per capita milk availability in Meghalaya is much lower than the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR’s) recommendation of milk consumption per person, the minister said that the Milk Mission will enable the state to substitute the import of milk with the state’s own production.
The minister mentioned that there are cooperatives in only 97 villages out of the 6449 villages of Meghalaya, while there can be cooperative societies in 60 per cent of the total villages. Acknowledging the potential of the state for agriculture and related sectors, the minister said that cooperatives can play an important role in the development of this sector. The minister mentioned that Centre is strengthening the cooperatives of the State, working in different sectors, through NCDC, which will open new dimensions of employment in the state.
The minister said that the Milk Mission will generate alternate livelihoods for the rural people of Meghalaya through diary sector. 2000 farmers will be directly benefitted by this Mission over the next four years, he said. The minister said that the Milk Mission will also check the absence of organised marketing channels in the dairy sector in Meghalaya.
The project consists of 2000 dairy farm units, in one unit there is provision for purchase of 5 cows, shed constructions, storage room construction, animal insurance, 79 bulk milk coolers of 500 litre capacity, 13 milk tankers of 3000 litre capacity etc. There is also a provision of Rs 1 crore for the training of farmers in the project. The launch of the Mission, the minister said, will benefit Meghalaya immensely.
The Minister also informed that Integrated Cooperative Development Project (ICDP) project for the entire State, computerization of primary co-operatives and the possibilities of starting an integrated piggery value chain project are being explored.
Acknowledging the immense possibilities of handicraft, handloom, organic, farming, forest produce, horticulture, processing of fruits and vegetables, animal husbandry, poultry, fisheries, tourism etc, the minister said that the Central Government is looking forward to providing assistance to State cooperatives in these areas through NCDC.
In addition with the Mission 2022 of Central Government, NCDC has started the Mission Sahakar-22 under which new employment opportunities are to be generated through cooperatives, strengthen the farmers economic condition by augmenting their income and fast track the pace of development in the State, the minister said. The minister concluded his address by saying that the Central Government is making every effort to accelerate the pace of inclusive growth in the State through agriculture and co-operation.
Governor of Meghalaya Shri Ganga Prasad said that the Mission is a comprehensive one, with essential components that cover both induction of new cows and development of indigenous cattle by selective breeding. The Governor expressed his satisfaction that the Mission takes care of all aspects of dairy sector including the induction of modern chilling infrastructure. The Governor also expressed his satisfaction over the fact that the state government is considering the creation of a dedicated Meghalaya Dairy Development Agency to take forward the Mission to the last point and deliver the result for the state.
Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of (AH&Vety) Shri Prestone Tynsong said that the Milk Mission will help in addressing the problem of unemployment in the State to a great extent and that it will facilitate self employment.
The programme was also attended by Managing Director NCDC Shri Sundeep Kumar, Commissioner & Secretray (AH&Vety) Shri Sampath Kumar, Govt of Meghalaya senior official of the Central and State Government, president of the Shillong Milk Union and cooperators of various Dairy cooperative of the state.
A bull fair was also organised in the venue in line with the launching of the Meghalaya Milk Mission.